Evan Baden – Technically Intimate
This work looks at how technology, especially the Internet, is changing how young people view sex, relationships, privacy, and intimacy. It summons questions about what happens when an intimate act is performed through technology. And further, what happens when that act is shared with millions via the Internet?
Young people have become accustomed to posting and sending sexually charged images of themselves via the Internet and cell phones. These images range from simple, innocent portraits, to nudes, to pornographic images that are extremely explicit. In many cases, it is a girl who usually sends these images, and/or videos, to a boy or boys that she is interested in. From there, the images and videos can end up anywhere. Many times they end up posted somewhere on the Internet. There has been an explosion of websites that specifically deal in photos that have been taken by young couples or girls themselves.
The Internet has made pornography much more accessible than it has been in years past Males are the main consumers of pornography, but young women are affected just as much, if not more. Because there is an intense competition among young women to attract young men’s attention, they begin to imitate what they believe young men like in order to attract their attention. Young men learning about sex from pornography has influenced young women to emulate the female figures in pornography. When young women emulate this pornographic behavior, it reinforces young men’s notions of how young women are supposed to behave.
I am using found images from the Internet as source material. These are images that have been created by one person with the intention of sharing them privately with another person. However, through some event, these images that were meant by the original creator to remain just between them and the receiver, have somehow ended up on the Internet. The models I am using in the images are all volunteers and are not professional models. They are found through ads placed on the Internet and social networking sites. It is important to me that the models are volunteers and that they want to be a part of the recreation of these images.
Instead of recreating the actual found image, I am recreating the moment that the original found image was captured. I am attempting to put the original image into a context to give the viewer an idea of what was happening during the creation of the found image. In the found images it is the act of creating the image that is important because the ‘act’, not the ‘image’, represents the shift in how young people understand, enact, and experience sex and intimacy. The acts that are performed in these images and videos are acts that to many of an older generation would be private. Instead, these once private acts are now being viewed by millions.
via FOAM Magazine